A popular book and entertainment program called “The Church Basement Ladies” profiles life in the kitchen of a Scandinavian Lutheran Church in Minnesota. But these ladies are everywhere and, if you attend church, you know some of them too. They can be the absolute heart of the church, bustling around between the stove and the refrigerator and serving up helpings of steaming love on special occasions. They are known for comfort food…literally. Their funeral dinners have comforted many families, as have hot tea and coffee on cold days before church. This is the group that turns out chicken and noodles by the gallon, invented Jello desserts, beats Keebler’s in the numbers of cookies baked, hosts luncheons by the legion, and ensures that no event goes unnoticed without refreshments.
There was never a truer member of this club than Fran Woodworth in Beverly, Kentucky. A retired pastor’s wife, she brought years of experience to the Beverly UMC kitchen. A woman who knew the taste and importance of good food for any occasion, Fran was one of the best cooks I’ve ever met. Fresh, real, homemade and lots of it…these were her mantra. No margarine. EVER. No generic mayonnaise. EVER. Only…well, only fresh, real, homemade, and lots of it. Thanks Fran for your generous use of culinary gifts; you are a true Church Basement Lady.